Earlier this week, I am celebrated eight years as a breast cancer survivor. I must say that I am surprised to be here celebrating eight years as a survivor.
I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. How could this be? Breast cancer did not run in my family and I nursed both of my daughters. I did not think this would ever happen to me.
In all reality, it did. By the time I was diagnosed, the cancer was Stage 3a and Grade III, a very aggressive form of cancer.
It Went Like This…
On December 26, 2008, the day after Christmas, I was in my car on my way to shop for some after Christmas deals when I received a call from my doctor’s nurse. She asked if I had been contacted regarding my biopsy results. I told her that no one had called yet. She said that my doctor was out of town but she would have the doctor on call contact me later that day. Later that afternoon, the call came while I was at home with my youngest daughter. The doctor told me that I had breast cancer! …On the phone, y’all. He was very apologetic for delivering the news over the phone but still.
Of course, I was full of questions like… How bad is it? What stage is it? What now? He told me that he didn’t know how to read the pathology report but that he didn’t want me to worry. Really? Didn’t want me to worry? He went on to say that many of his patients were 10, 20 and even 30 year breast cancer survivors. An appointment was scheduled with a Surgical Oncologist for Monday. It was Friday and I had to wait until Monday to find out details. All I could think about was… how would I tell my husband, children, mother, other family members and friends?
I Knew This Was Bigger Than Me
After I hung up the phone, tears streamed down my face. I sat in the front room and stared out the window and I prayed! I remembered a song that we used to sing in church when I was a little girl.
Peace, peace, wonderful peace coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray in fathomless billows of love.
You see…I am a believer…a Christian…a person of strong faith and I prayed….
The first doctor I saw told me how LUCKY I was that it was breast cancer because I could probably survive at least five years. “Really?” I thought to myself. “Did I just hear him say that I was LUCKY to have cancer?” We will call him Dr. Anonymous.
In those five years, I was been blessed to plan and attend the weddings of both of my daughters, attend the graduation of my youngest daughter from The University of Florida and have been blessed with 3 grandchildren. So when I #Blessed to a post or picture, it means that I am thankful for every minute.
Even Dr. Anonymous would be surprised today that I am celebrating
eight years as a breast cancer survivor.
…and so I celebrate. Now, I have 4 grandchildren, have written a book about my day to day life, ups, downs, highs and lows through chemotherapy, radiation, wedding planning and more.
I love this quote by Bridget Nicole. Eventually, I began to tell my story through this blog and I still have some tears run down my cheek every now and then.
“You will begin to heal when you start to let go of regrets, forgive those who have hurt you and learn to forgive yourself. With time and courage, you will be able to tell your story without pain in your heart, ache in your soul and tears flowing down your cheek. That is when you know your healing has begun.” Bridget Nicole, Lessons Learned In Life
I hope my story will be a blessing, encouragement and inspiration to others. I encourage you to share my story with a friend. Here is a FREE resource: The First Responders’ Guide To Cancer.
It provides easy to implement strategies to get you through a hectic season. The tips are organized in three main areas: Become Informed, Get Organized and Simplify Life. My goal in helping you get informed and organized is to make sure you leave room for simplifying life. In addition, simplifying life is so often overlooked when dealing with a crisis but it is crucial to your physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness. This is a great resource for anyone with a serious illness or a cancer diagnosis.
Here is the link to your FREE copy: : http://laurasjourneyofhope.com/first-responders-guide-cancer/
Encourage. Inspire. Empower.